On Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337) celebrated its annual Stout and Oyster Festival, flying in 30,000 live oysters from both coasts, along with a team of all-star shuckers.
The stout they already had on hand -- pints and pints (and pints) of it, in three varieties.
RFT contributing photographer Crystal Rolfe was on hand to document the event in colorful little electronic dots for your delectation.
A happy pair of (former) oyster virgins.
A small fraction of the tens of thousands of oysters flown in for the occasion await the shuckers (also flown in for the occasion).
On the half-shell: shucked oysters galore.
Say hello to Melissa and Michelle: For every oyster on the half-shell, there was an eager taker -- or two.
Ricka and Matt, two more satisfied customers.
Some like 'em hot, take 1: crisp oysters, straight from the fryer.
Some like 'em hot, take 2: oysters steaming on the grill.
Some like 'em...big: a Penn Cove Select oyster from the Pacific Northwest. Back in the days before the Second World War, these mamas were known as Japanese oysters.
Rawl and Dave take a break from shucking to show off the fruits of their labor.
Consuming oysters in the half-shell is a skill worth learning.
It's a pearl!
Shuckers from both coasts worked long hours but stayed in high spirits.
Shellfish + Beer = Oyster Goggles!
Editor's note: Sometimes food renders Gut Check speechless. That's why God invented the DSLR. In our continuing effort to cause your mouth to water onto your keyboard, we bring you our weekly Food Photo Essay.